I’ve only seen a couple scraps of Zefrank’s shows, but this one makes me want to see all of them. What he describes here, letting yourself get addicted to “brain crack”, is totally what I’ve done historically. I’m not proud of it.
I run out of ideas every day! Each day I live in mortal fear that I’ve used up the last idea that’ll ever come to me. If you don’t wanna run out of ideas the best thing to do is not to execute them. You can tell yourself that you don’t have the time or resources to do ’em right. Then they stay around in your head like brain crack. No matter how bad things get, at least you have those good ideas that you’ll get to later.
Some people get addicted to that brain crack. And the longer they wait, the more they convince themselves of how perfectly that idea should be executed. And they imagine it on a beautiful platter with glitter and rose petals. And everyone’s clapping for them. But the, but the, but the, but the bummer is most ideas kinda suck when you do ’em. And no matter how much you plan you still have to do something for the first time. And you’re almost guaranteed the first time you do something it’ll blow. But somebody who does something bad three times still has three times the experience of that other person who’s still dreaming of all the applause. When I get an idea, even a bad one, I try to get it out into the world as fast as possible, ’cause I certainly don’t want to be addicted to brain crack.
This play has been simmering in the works for a couple of years. That’s not something I’d like to be in the habit of but I totally am. I’ve been protective of this play, really. That’s what’s secretly guided many of my decisions, especially the passive decision to not start writing it for two years.
And I do think to myself, when will I have another opportunity to work on a play which sounds as flashy this? That has such a fun theatrical premise? I roughly know what the next nine ideas I’m going to work on are, and I know that I love them, but this premise definitely gets the biggest reaction from folks.
While I do have answers for these and other questions that sprout up, the questions are only partially interesting. They don’t have that much bearing on the action that I need to take.
I need to continually be honest with myself on what needs to be done with the draft, what problems need to be tackled with it, and then just generate potential solutions. Not The Perfect One that I gather my powers for, but thousands of nameless solutions like exhalation.
It’s easy to articulate this stuff and not do it but we’ve got to do both. At least I need to.